Colorado Springs

RTD wants more housing near stations. It may sacrifice parking spots to make that happen. – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-02-23 08:00:53 –


By Nathaniel Minor CPR news

Rosemary Hostler was able to see two of the most important places in daily life from the grasslands he stood with his dog Kasha last morning.

The first was an affordable complex in her new apartment, Sheridan Boulevard and Lakewood Gulch in western Denver. The second was the W line station of the Regional Transportation Bureau, which was a 2-minute walk.

“I don’t drive anymore. I’m 61 years old and I’m blind at night,” said Hostler before thinking about the importance of having a stop nearby. “That’s the difference between not going out at all and going out.”

Chostler secured a home in a new 133-unit Sheridan Station apartment after being priced from a market-priced apartment in Capitol Hill, where she and her husband lived for decades.

“They were $ 200 to $ 300 a month. Now they are in the thousands,” she said. “Even if my husband is still alive, we can’t afford it.”

RTD board Final vote will be held on February 23 About a new policy designed to encourage the construction of more homes on the premises of agencies near stations (mainly park-and-ride) across the metro.

Among the most important parts of that new policy is the non-binding goal that 35% of all residential units built on RTD properties are affordable. The new policy will allow RTD staff to replace all parking lots they use in home development that does not include a garage. According to the agency’s own research, people living in affordable homes have less parking and use more transportation.

Aaron Miripol, president and CEO of Urban Land Conservancy, a non-profit real estate organization behind affordable housing projects across Denver Metro, said the new policy could be a “major changer.”

“Based on this, given the entire FasTracks network, we were able to ensure that we had thousands of permanently affordable homes,” Millipole said, relatively between Denver and Boulder. Mentioned the new rail network and Flat Iron Flyer Bus Line. ..

More new homes could help mitigate the affordable crisis in metropolitan areas

Also, developers like Boulder-based Scott Pederson said that RTD’s high-frequency train and bus stations have fewer parking lots for more cost-effective apartments and condos, even if friction occurs. It states that it will provide an opportunity to build in.

“You’re talking about the suburbs, and parts of the area are moving to something that looks or feels a bit more urban,” Pederson said. “Basically, I think it’s a good land use policy to build at higher densities rather than spreading in a chaotic manner.”

RTD Park and Ride along US36 on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. (CPR)

The cost of the garage (about $ 25,000 per space) killed past projects. Pederson proposed housing development at Maca Slimbourg Bird Park and boarded the Superior US36. It included a small garage, but also counted residents sharing spots with park-and-ride users. The two groups should park at the opposite time of the day. He was also considering sharing a parking lot with a large retail store nearby.

“They have a lot of parking lots that aren’t used all night,” Pederson said. “It can be a beneficial situation for both groups.”

But RTD wanted Pederson to build a bigger garage, so he said it was too expensive. So he abandoned the project. If the RTD board adopts a new policy next week, it will probably be after a 15-0 preliminary vote, Pederson said he might try to restart it again.

RTDs have been able to build vast transportation networks and have built them, but it is up to the city to decide how development will take place near those stations. RTD’s new policy aims to respect it, said Chesy Brady, RTD’s Transit-Oriented Development Manager.

“We don’t want to impose anything on any jurisdiction, and this policy isn’t,” Brady said. “We thread the needle with this policy.”

The town of Superior, home to McCaslin Park and Ride, supports the new RTD policy, said Steven Williams, town planning and construction manager.

“Superior usually sees RTD properties as both opportunities. [transit-oriented development] It’s an affordable home and I agree that each of these development types offers the potential for reduced parking, “he wrote in an email.

At least 12 RTD stations have at least some potential for higher density development.

This is due to the evaluation of RTD staff from the beginning of 2020. At least before the pandemic, some park-and-rides were routinely full. These parking lots will be maintained, Brady said.

The places where RTDs and other local governments first decided to build a rail network continue to have a significant impact today. With a few exceptions, these lines mainly hug highways and freight rail corridors. There are no existing high density residential and commercial corridors. It limits development opportunities, Brady said.

“If you’re along the freeway, there’s nothing on one side,” she said.

Brady’s own department was temporarily dismissed in recent months as RTD tried to cut costs and balance the budget. Urbanland Conservancy’s Millipole said he hopes RTDs have the resources they need to implement new policies. Brady said all new development proposals would be her “top priority.”

Rosemarie Chostler was pleased to hear that RTD wanted to encourage more affordable homes. Her husband died in 2012 just as Denver’s rent began to skyrocket. She lost her apartment a few years later and became homeless for three years. So her new place made a lot of sense to her and she said she wanted other people to have the same opportunity.

“I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “A great many people need it. There are many older people, low-income older people like me who don’t have a car and are even homeless.”

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RTD wants more housing near stations. It may sacrifice parking spots to make that happen. Source link RTD wants more housing near stations. It may sacrifice parking spots to make that happen.

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